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Santa Barbara Community Raising Money for Homeless Second-Grader Struck by Vehicle

Beverly Comacho Click to view larger
Beverly Comacho

A McKinley Elementary School second-grader was critically injured last month when she was struck by a vehicle while crossing the street in a downtown crosswalk with her mother.

Both had been living in an emergency homeless shelter for families before the accident, and now the community is raising money to help pay for the girl’s medical care, school district officials said.

Beverly Comacho, who is 7, and her mother, Sandra Mora, were crossing at the intersection of Ortega and Santa Barbara streets on Oct. 23 when they were hit by a vehicle making a right-hand turn, said Sgt. Riley Harwood of the Santa Barbara Police Department.

The accident happened at 4:25 p.m. and both Comacho and her mother were struck in the intersection’s north crosswalk. They were taken to the Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital for their injuries.

Harwood said that Mora had complained of pain all over her body, and that the 7-year-old had a number of abrasions and as well as a head injury. 

The pair had been struck by 28-year-old Adriana Augustini, who had been driving a Ford Explorer and was not under the influence and not using a cell phone, Harwood said.

“She indicated that the sun was in her eyes and did not see the girl and her mom,” he said.

Augustini was issued a citation at the scene for the right-of-way violation, not having proof of insurance and not having her license in her possession. 

She has a court date next month, Harwood said.

One of the people on the scene of the accident was Barbara Keyani, who works as spokeswoman for the Santa Barbara Unified School District, which has an office on the corner of the intersection.

The work day had ended and several employees from the district ran over to help, including Keyani.

“We were all sort of stunned as to what happened,” she recalled. “When I walked out there, she was being transported by ambulance.”

Keyani said that Beverly’s injuries were extensive and required multiple surgeries in Santa Barbara and Los Angeles. 

“Her mother has been at her side throughout,” she said.

Beverly is making progress, but full recovery is still months away, and a bank account to help the family has been established.

Those wishing to make donations can contact Union Bank’s Montecito Branch and mention the account number 00-60-77-48-89, Keyani said.

Noozhawk staff writer Lara Cooper can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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